Fun and Entertainment at the Rochester Hills State of the City Address with VIDEO

Record Crowd of 600 Hears Diverse Stories of Growth and Success

Mayor Bryan K. Barnett delivered his 11th State of the City address at Rochester Adams High School on April 10 to a record crowd of over 600. Guests zoomed over the red carpet, past the welcoming Rochester Hills Government Youth Council, and into the auditorium to here about the success of the city, as well as to be entertained by dancing, skits, musical numbers, and pyrotechnics.

Inspired by the influence Rochester Hills community members have at home and around the world (and a recent European vacation by the mayor and his family) the event had a “Local Roots, Global Reach” theme. The audience experienced a night of cultural dance performance and lively music that showcased the diversity of the community.

Pledge and "One Nation" performed by Hampton Elementary School students - photo by Michael Dwyer

Pledge and “One Nation” performed by Hampton Elementary School students – photo by Michael Dwyer

The Pledge of Allegiance was lead by students from Hampton Elementary School. After they paid respect to the American Flag they sang along to a recording of “One Nation.” They were dressed in culturally-diverse outfits and waved handheld flags from a variety of countries. This was followed by the invocation from Woodside Bible Church pastor, Doug Schmidt.

Nanou Djiapo - photo by Michael Dwyer

Nanou Djiapo – photo by Michael Dwyer

Nanou Djiapo, an African Drum & Dance Team, got the entertainment portion of the night going, followed by the Motor City Irish Dance Team.

Motor City Irish Dance Team - photo by Michael Dwyer

Motor City Irish Dance Team – photo by Michael Dwyer

Between performances, the screen cut to “live” footage of Mayor Barnett leaving his office, getting in his car, and signing with Madonna for a fun rendition of Karaoke Carpool (starts at 19:47 in the video at the bottom). Pulling from The Late Show with James Corden, the mayor and his creative staff edited the segment for a fun, local connection. I have an absolute blast being the Mayor of the City of Rochester Hills, I’m not sure if you could tell. And certainly part of that excitement stems from just how wonderful it is to lead a city that’s actually doing well,” said Barnett.

Mayor Bryan K. Barnett - photo by Michael Dwyer

Mayor Bryan K. Barnett – photo by Michael Dwyer

Mayor Barnett Declares State of the City Strong and Thriving

“Now it’s hard to believe, but this is actually my 11th State of the City Address. And that earlier this year, I became the longest serving Mayor in our city’s history, surpassing the previous mark held by Mayor Billie Ireland,” said Barnett, “Now I remain incredibly grateful for the trust the residents have placed in me and for the privilege it is to represent the City of Rochester Hills over the past decade. It seems like only yesterday, that I was delivering my first State of the City Address in the City Council chambers with about 10 PowerPoint slides, a lonely podium, and without multiple dance teams.”

Growth. Change. Investment.

Mayor Bryan K. Barnett acknowledged the many community leaders and volunteers who help to make the city successful. Positive growth numbers, new world business headquarters moving to town, and rising home values are all good news for the city. “Last year, new housing permits were up 61%, total building permits were up 34%, and listen to this – most importantly – total construction value was up 130% last year alone, simply unbelievable growth and investment,” said Barnett. In addition, “The Rochester Hills industrial and commercial sector is simply on fire.”

JAZBA Indian Dance Group - photo by Michael Dwyer

JAZBA Indian Dance Group – photo by Michael Dwyer

Decked out in bold costumes and gold sequins the JAZBA Indian Dance Group from the International Academy was next. They performed a traditional Indian dance and were followed by the Gjergj Kastrioti Albanian Dance Team presented by St. Paul’s Catholic Community.

Gjergj Kastrioti Albanian Dance Team - photo by Michael Dwyer

Gjergj Kastrioti Albanian Dance Team – photo by Michael Dwyer

Two individuals were recognized by Mayor Barnett with Community Excellence awards for their exceptional humanitarian work around the globe. The individual Community Excellence award was presented to TTI Global CEO Lori Blaker. With over 2,000 employees in over 25 countries, Blaker was honored for starting a business in Kabul, Afghanistan. The office is completely run by women in one of the most oppressed environments for women in the world.  

Corrin and Mayor Bryan Barnett - photo by Michael Dwyer

Corrin and Mayor Bryan Barnett – photo by Michael Dwyer

Bill Clark, Rochester Hills resident and leader of the Hope Water Project received the organization Community Excellence Award. Hope Water is committed to providing clean water by partnering with communities and drilling deep water wells in some of the world’s neediest areas. Their current project is to provide 1,000 new water wells for the Pokot tribe in northwestern Kenya in partnership with Kensington Community Church.

The event ended on a triumphant high, as Mayor Barnett surprised the audience with indoor fireworks. I love telling our story in a unique and engaging way,” states Mayor Bryan K. Barnett. “We attempt each year to exceed our guests’ expectations and create an event that is completely unexpected by government. I’m proud to lead the most innovative team anywhere in the state”

Click “Watch on You Tube” after clicking the play arrow button for all the Entertainment and Details from the Full VIDEO by Rochester Hills TV

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About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at or @TALKTRAVEL

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